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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mumbai University panel checks Kalina campus canteens

From DNA-The newly formed four-member expert canteen committee of University of Mumbai has swung into action.

Formed a month ago, it visited the Kalina campus for the first time last week to meet the students and know their problems on food quality and hygiene.

DNA had reported on October 22 (‘Mumbai University hostels making a mess of health’) about the unhygienic university messes serving bad quality food.

The university formed an expert canteen committee after DNA started its hygiene campaign. The four committee members — Sanyogita Morarji, associate professor, Ramanath Payyade College of Hospitality Studies (Chembur), BP Sahni, former principal of the college, professor Bhuvan GM, principal of Apeejay Institute of Hospitality (Navi Mumbai) and Mridul Nile, director, students’ welfare, University of Mumbai — visited the campus which has five hostel messes and three canteens where students from the KBP Boys’ hostel voiced their litany of woes.

“We had been waiting for officials to visit us so that we can tell them that we are having bad food every day. Mess people don’t act on our complaints. But no one paid heed,” said a first-year student, requesting anonymity.

Students of Maharshi Karve girls’ hostel confirmed that the canteen committee visited the mess. “They have reprimanded the mess staff and asked them to improve the quality of food and maintain hygiene. We have complained to them about other problems like peeling plasters and shabby rooms. They have assured us that they would solve the problems soon.”

Students of KBP hostel also told the committee that they had complained to the warden many times but he did not take any action. “We have not seen him in the campus in last one-and-half month,” they said.

The warden of KBP Boys hostel, professor Manohar Mane, was unavailable for comment.

“The vice-chancellor has asked us to inquire about the mess food and hygiene after reading the DNA report. We have asked mess contractors to improve the quality of food and hygiene,” said Mridul Nile, a canteen committee member.

The hostel messes, which allow outsiders to eat there by paying more than the subsidised rates offered to the students, have been asked to stop the practice.

“We will see if the mess staff is following the committee’s orders,” said a third-year student on condition of anonymity.

“We have decided to visit the messes again next week to see whether contractors are adhering to the norms,” Nile added.

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